Dr Rosli’s New BookWebmaster
Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences Dr Md Rosli Ismail has published a book! Titled Private Preschool Education and Malay Middle-Class Parents, the book has only recently hit the e-shelves. He took some time off his busy schedule to talk about it and what’s next in his plans.
Can you share a bit about yourself, and your current role?
I studied in Japan in the late 1980s and worked in Tokyo as an international bank executive for some time. I returned to Malaysia and in 2009, after 19 years in the corporate world, I became a full-time academic at a local private university. Since then, I have held several academic positions, including coordinator for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) and for English Servicing, head of the Master of Education programme, and deputy dean (postgraduate and research).
I am also the founder of Bright Atfal, which is an early childhood education centre. There are currently three branches in Saujana Utama, Puncak Alam and Section 13, Shah Alam.
I serve as an editorial board member and peer reviewer for several institutions and publications, including the ASEAN Journal of Open and Distance Learning. I joined OUM in March 2021. At present, I am a Senior Lecturer cum Programme Director for the Master of Education programme.
What is your book about and how long did it take you to complete it?
This book is actually part of my PhD thesis, which I converted into a book. I attended a programme on techniques for writing books in 2019, and was assigned a mentor who coached me and helped me make the necessary changes to the thesis. The content was all there already, but turning it into a book was quite a challenge. From the time I attended that programme to the time the book got published, the process took about two years.
What is your inspiration for writing this book?
As a Muslim, I believe that one will leave three things behind upon death: pious children, sadaqah (charity) and ilm’ (knowledge).
With the exception of pious children, the other two things are within my control. I firmly believe that I should act as long as I am able to. It is my responsibility to share the knowledge I have gained with others, and this book is one way for me to do that.
I’m a late bloomer, but it’s okay to be late rather than never. Life is just too short. Therefore, contributing something to society, be it through knowledge or sadaqah, is important to me.
What can readers expect from this book?
There are two key terms in the title, which are ‘private preschool education’ and ‘Malay middle-class parents’. Among others, this book highlights three aspects, which are: the selection of private preschool education for early childhood education among Malay middle-class parents, private preschools as an educational business, and the extent of the contribution of sociological aspects of the first elements to the social reproduction of Malay middle-class parents.
The book combines several disciplines of knowledge, including entrepreneurship, private preschool education, and sociology. It helps readers better understand how society, with everything related to one another, works.
Who is your target audience, and how will the book benefit readers?
This is a general academic book. An audience interested in private preschool education and sociology will find the content straightforward and easy to read. This book is also valuable to students of early childhood education or business, and suitable for entrepreneurs and preschool operators. It provides a different perspective on private preschool education, especially with respect to Malay middle class social reproduction.
Do you have any advice for learners who are currently completing their theses?
Learners should be clear with their intention in writing a thesis. They need to know how to capture interest and attention, and be comfortable with the issues they want to address. Besides, the subject itself should be something meaningful to them.
I can give my own master’s degree as an example. Because I lived in Japan for six years, and can speak the language, I used that background as my strength and conducted a study on Japanese expatriates in Malaysia to find out how they interacted with local people at work, and adapted to the local culture while working in Malaysia.
Learners should first identify something they would love to research, in a subject that is close to them. This will help them produce intrinsic motivation, become more focused, and progress better. In short, this is how they can put their theses in their hearts, and their hearts in their theses.
What are your plans for research and future writing projects?
Currently, I have four active grants and projects, through which I’m studying several different topics, including gamification in schools, and the importance of outdoor play among children. I’m also busy with another project that focuses on building a competency-based learning model.
My writing adventures aren’t over yet! I’m now working on a book chapter for a collection of theses converted into a book by 12 doctoral graduates. This is going to be an interesting one, as the content combines diverse disciplines of studies.
Interested in Dr Rosli’s book? Check it out here!
By Aisyah Nik Yahya, Centre for Research and Innovation